What has changed in SEO in 2023?

– There is more organic traffic from Google. In March 2022, Google stopped selling ads through Google Ads in Russia, all ad blocks disappeared. Accordingly, users began to click more on search lines in the output. A special struggle unfolded for the so-called “zero answers” (extended snippets) in the output.

– Yandex has not learned how to effectively deal with cheating behavioral factors. There are more niches in which it is almost impossible to get into the TOP 10 without cheating. Accordingly, in 2022, it is worth being able to identify topics in which behavioral factors are being screwed up – to assess the risks and opportunities for promoting your site to the TOP.

– Yandex behind Google and its E-At factors, implemented based on the signals of the quality of the site (Yandex Proxima). In 2022, when ranking in Yandex, a new pool of signals, such as commercial, conversion, expert, forming loyalty and trusting attitude of the user, began to be taken into account. From the public ones, Yandex has learned to evaluate the quality of business based on reviews and the information field around the site.

– Special attention to the most significant related words (LSI). Every year, search engine algorithms tend more and more to search by meaning, and not to search for a query in a “bag of words” on a page. The main releases of algorithms on these topics were in 2020-2021, but in 2022 the influence of factors only intensified.

– During the year, several SPAM updates were made in Google and a new anti-spam filter “Mimicry” was launched in Yandex. The purpose of the changes was to purge unscrupulous and garbage sites from the search results.

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What do clients pay SEO agencies for? The 5 most popular ways to pay for promotion services

In 2022, customers no longer want to pay for the actions of an SEO agency that do not lead to a tangible measurable result. Clients agree to buy “code optimization”, “semantic core collection” and other shamanic SEO practices only if they get a profit.

But what exactly is considered a profit? The growth of positions, visibility, traffic, and the number of leads is a controversial issue. Each agency offers one or more payment models for its services. Let’s tell you what methods of SEO billing exist on the market, what are their pros, cons and pitfalls.

Payment for the amount of work

How does it work? The SEO agency studies the project, listens to the customer’s wishes and puts forward a hypothesis about what actions will lead to the desired result. Taking into account the budget that the client is willing to spend, a detailed list of works is compiled. The cost of SEO services depends on which specialists are involved in the project and how many hours they spend on work.

The client pays for the amount of work done in a timely manner, without reference to the KPI.

Possible problems. The agency is interested in doing certain actions and getting a fixed fee for them, but is little interested in the growth of the client’s business.

The result (for example, an increase in target traffic by 30%) is implied, but not spelled out in the contract. If the result is not achieved, the client pays anyway, that is, in fact, in some situations drains the budget and leaves unsatisfied.

An agency that has not achieved its goal and received money “for air” risks its reputation.

Payment for positions

How does it work? The client pays a “subscription fee” and pays a fee for placing in the TOP positions on the promoted keys.

The list of requests and the reward are discussed at the start. Payment is not directly related to the number of man-hours spent on work. It depends on the subject, the competitiveness of the request, the region and other parameters.

Possible problems:

It is difficult to get accurate statistics. Positions jump a lot, depending on the region, device (desktop or mobile), user behavior (personalization).

There is a risk that with such a scheme, a specialist uses gray SEO techniques: for example, cheating and mass purchase of links. This tactic leads to the fact that positions rise sharply, but then also fall sharply.

Reaching the TOP 10 and even the TOP 5 does not guarantee traffic and sales growth. This approach solves only one of the client’s tasks — the growth of positions. In order for users to visit the site, an attractive snippet is needed. But with such a payment model, increasing the CTR of the snippet is not part of the tasks of an SEO specialist. If the user still gets to the site, but stumbles upon a confusing overloaded menu, he leaves without buying. Working with landing pages and the website interface is also not included in the range of services focused on the growth of positions.

Payment for traffic

How does it work? The client pays a “subscription fee” and a reward for the number of unique users who have visited the site from search engines in a month. The starting point is the current site traffic. The cost of 1 visit from the search in excess of the “basic” is discussed at the start.

Possible problems. Traffic depends not only on the actions of SEO specialists, but also on objective parameters: seasonality, niche trends, competitors’ actions. Therefore, traffic growth is not always an objective indicator of the quality of promotion. This problem is partly solved by seasonal coefficients.

Traffic growth does not always lead to sales growth. Not every traffic is high—quality and targeted. If people come to the site who did not plan to make a purchase, their visits do not solve the client’s business problems.